Bollywood Hungama
Last Updated 18.02.2019 | 7:49 PM IST



“I don’t know if Raj-Rahul in me have woken up today” – Riteish Deshmukh

Years after making his debut in Tujhe Meri Kasam, Riteish Deshmukh is being seen in a romantic film all over again. Of course there is a strong element of humour which is an intrinsic part of Jaane Kahan Se Aayi Hai. Still, it is a welcome change to see Riteish get into a zone where he has been given ample space to woo his girlfriend, something which was neither in the case of his comic hits like Masti, Heyy Babyy and Apna Sapna Money Money nor in the recent serious release like Aladin.

Though Riteish is certainly hoping that this Milap Zaveri directed film turns out to be a success at the box office, he isn’t willing to restrict himself to a particular genre. Moreover, he is still not shying away from doing serious or dramatic roles and reaffirms that given an opportunity; he would jump into them all over again.

“I have never let anything else dictate my choices, whether my hits or failures. What has been of utmost importance for me is whether I am suiting in a particular character or not. Ok, so fair enough that audience has accepted me in some roles and not so much in others. But still, I will definitely try to do other things as well”, says Riteish as he lives out of a suitcase by frequenting multiple cities for the promotion of his newest release.

“Having said that, I will certainly do comedy as well as romantic films because I like doing that. However, if I get another serious film and it is good enough then I won’t shy away from that. Regarding box office, it is a different thing altogether and no one can really see what’s going to happen there”, says Riteish whose last release Rann, despite some good critical acclaim coming it’s way, just couldn’t stand up at the box office.

“That’s okay, we all grow and learn more about how to market a film”, Riteish keeps his head high here, “All those who have seen Rann have appreciated it. But then perhaps we didn’t market it well enough to create good enough curiosity amongst audience to check it out at theatres on its release. It’s a collaborative effort when it comes to first making and then marketing a film. I am sure we would be doing better with every passing year.”

No wonder, he is going all out for the promotion of Jaane Kahan Se Aayi Hai by going through more than half a dozen city tours across the length and breadth of India. Not just that, he is also making use of every other forum, whether online, print or satellite to create huge awareness around the film.

“This is something that one should learn well and learn really fast”, says Riteish, “Making a film is all fine but what also matters is that how does one actually promote it so well that people get hungry enough to step into a theatre. See, in today’s time, such effort is pretty much the need of the hour. Some films are star driven where an Akshay (Kumar) or a Shah Rukh (Khan) could pull audience all by themselves. On the other hand there are others where you have to get people in theatres just out of sheer merits of the product in hand.”

Coming back to the fact that he is doing a romantic film after seven long years; one can’t help but ask that what made him wait for so long?

“It’s as simple as that – I never got a chance again”, he smiles, “Today, I have got a chance to do a rom-com. Having said that, today I feel that I am much more confident than my first film. I can express and understand really well about what the character is going through.”

Elaborating on the character played by him in the film, Riteish says, “He is someone who is really innocent and simple. There are so many things that go in the mind of this guy but somehow he is just not able to say that. In a few scenes, he is just talking to God and ends up crying. It’s after a long time that I got a chance to portray such a character. There are films that offer you meat not just to perform but also just become a character and end up holding the film in entirety. Jaane Kahan Se Aayi Hai is one film which has got it all.”

Aah, now looks like there is a new lover boy in the town now. So do we see a Raj or a Rahul in Riteish waking up in a big way?

“Raj aur Rahul ka toh abhi kuch pata nahi abhi tak”, Riteish gives a full throated laugh here, “See, I have lived in the generation of Shah Rukh Khan and it is a part of the upbringing to be familiar with Raj and Rahul. I am sure for people belonging to Shah Rukh’s generation; it would be the character of Vijay that would have enjoyed similar status. Personally, for me it is great if I am playing a romantic character today.”

Talking about romance, now that he is working with Jacqueline Fernandez a.k.a. in Jaane Kahan Se… again after Aladin, one can well expect that there must have been an enhanced comfort level of sharing screen space with her, right?

“Absolutely”, says Riteish promptly, “Even in Aladin, we got along very well so while doing Jaane Kahan Se…. , it was like being in a Part 2. Milap, Sujoy (Ghosh), Jackie and I are great friends and we all hang around together. So yes, there is this great comfort level that comes in.”

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